devotion to the severe but picturesque landscapes of Crimea, the Caucasus, Armenia and Georgia
(Lake Sevan and Mount Ararat)
battles at sea, based on the heroic past of the Russian fleet.
special sympathy for the Greeks in their struggle for liberation
themes from the bible and from ancient Armenian history
Lifelong passion for the sea Aivazovskiy's name is intricately bound with the sea. Yet as a young boy Aivazovskiy knew the sea, loved it passionately and knew the secrets of its movements. Rather than merely "reproduce" the marine element, Aivazovskiy tells us its fables thus making a symbolic statement.
Description of one of the best and most famous pieces of art by Ivan Aivazovsky
The subject-matter: a group of shipwrecked survivors is about to be engulfed by an enormous wave.
The merciless pounding of the elements is conveyed with great mastery.
The restless movement of clouds and sprays of foam strengthen the impression of a raging hurricane.
Aivazovsky’s characters clinging to a broken mast are living individuals struggling for life.
The colour scheme of the canvas is very bright and varied, the prevailing tones are red and greenish.
The sun that has just risen piercing with its rays the watery chaos serves as a symbol of hope increasing just a little the people’s chance of survival.
My impression of the masterpiece The painting delights the eye by its richness of colours and spontaneous lyric charm. The essential tragedy of the picture is outweighed by the vividness of the impression it produces on the beholder: the spectator understands the horror of the storm but his feelings are won over by its gorgeous beauty! It is an exquisite study of ever-changing marine element. The artist managed to render brilliantly the weight, volume and mass of the waves and to depict the sea storm with great dramatic force and empathy. This piece of art undoubtedly stands alone in the master’s work and ranks among the world’s finest creations. It is once seen and never forgotten!